Alte und neue Formen in Japan (Old and New Forms in Japan), 1959
After World War II, the poster declined as magazines and television became potent competitors. In Switzerland, however, the poster continued to evolve with the development of a Mid-Century Modern style with roots in the Bauhaus. Known also as the International Typographic Style or Swiss Style, it relied on typographic elements in black, white and sometimes a third color. Perfected at design schools in Zurich and Basel (the latter headed by Armin Hofmann), the style was based on a mathematical grid with strict graphic rules and stark photography, all to provide a clear and logical structure.
Well-suited to the postwar global marketplace and international events like the Olympics, the Swiss Style became the leading design style worldwide in the 1970s and continues to exert a strong influence. Hofmann's fine poster Old and New Forms in Japan at the Basel Design Museum was an example of how complete the evolution from poster artist to poster designer had become; illustration had been totally replaced by a carefully manipulated universal language of abstract design elements. In the U.S., Hofmann's design school established a link with the Yale School of Design, which became the leading American center for the new style.
35.4 x 50.4 inches (90 x 128 cm)
Int'l Typographic Style